In addition to criticism from environmental activists, the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji Cove in Japan has drawn criticism from the United States' Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy. The ambassador came out against "drive hunt" dolphin killing, in which hundreds of bottlenose dolphins are rounded up into a small area of water and then hunted.
Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing. USG opposes drive hunt fisheries.— キャロライン・ケネディ駐日米国大使 (@CarolineKennedy) January 18, 2014
Environmentalists claim that the practice is both inhumane and a threat to the dolphin population. One fisherman told CNN that this year, about 500 dolphins were driven into the cove and less that 100 will be hunted or captured. The rest will supposedly be released. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga defend the practice at a press conference, stating, "Dolphin fishing is one of traditional fishing forms of our country and is carried out appropriately in accordance with the law."
Kennedy's condemnation is the latest in a series of efforts to shine a spotlight on the practice. The 2009 documentary about the Taiji hunt, The Cove, won an Oscar for Best Documentary. Hackers from Anonymous also attacked the website for Wakayama Prefecture, where Taiji is located.